Links for workshops

These links are intended for attendees of Cofactor workshops on topics such as ‘Getting published in journals’, ‘Writing for publication’ and ‘Writing scientific articles’. Please do not share this page more widely.



Preparing to write

Writing process

Paper structure

Title and abstract

Writing style

Peer review process

When your paper is published

Choosing a journal

How scientific publishing is changing


Book: What Editors Want: An Author’s Guide to Scientific Journal Publishing by Philippa J. Benson and Susan C. Silver (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Book: The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth, Greg Colomb and Joe Williams. 3rd Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing). University of Chicago Press 2008.

EASE guidelines

Retraction Watch blog

ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals.

Explorations of Style: blog on academic writing by Rachael Cayley, Senior Lecturer in English Language and Writing Support, University of Toronto

American Chemical Society: ‘virtual issue’ of 20 editorials on Mastering the Art of Scientific Publication

Preparing to write

Responsible research publication: international standards for authors (position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity,

For journal choice, see below (‘Choosing a journal’).

Duplicate submission

ICMJE guidelines on overlapping submissions

Referencing and Plagiarism

Most publishers and universities have their own rules on plagiarism. For example, here are Nature Publishing Group’s guidelines together with links to relevant articles.

Paraphrasing and Plagiarism: chapter in eBook English for Writing Research Papers by Adrian Wallwork, Springer 2011 (not free)

Image manipulation

Journal of Cell Biology instructions for authors, which include guidelines on image manipulation

Journal of Cell Biology editorial ‘What’s in a picture?’ on image manipulation


ICMJE guidelines on authorship

What constitutes authorship? (Committee on Publication Ethics Discussion Document 2014)

Writing process

Writing for an academic journal: 10 tips (Guardian Professional article by Rowena Murray, professor in education and director of research at the University of the West of Scotland)

Tips from an academic writing retreat (Hub for Education Research at Edinurgh Napier)

Explorations of Style on reverse outlines, the speed of writing and dealing with anxiety about writing

The Pomodoro Technique®

Thesis Whisperer posts on ‘Shut up and write‘ and the Pomodoro Technique®

The Twitter Phenomenon #madwriting (blog post by a journalism lecturer)

Nature feature on collaborative writing tools such as Google Docs, Writelatex, Authorea and Fiduswriter

Paper structure

How do I write a scientific paper? Guidelines from SciDev.Net

Scientific reports: guide to writing from the University of North Carolina Writing Center

Title and abstract

EASE guidelines

Nature example for download (.doc format)

Blog post on abstracts by a Nature editor

Tutorial post on titles by palaeontologist Mike Taylor

Research Trends article on choosing a good title

Blog post on academic paper/thesis titles by Patrick Dunleavy of LSE (Write for Research)

How to write a conference abstract (or how NOT to write one) – blog post in McGill University GradLife

How to write a scientific abstract in six easy steps: blog post by Steve Easterbrook (University of Toronto). Includes a fun example abstract about ‘widgetology’.

Writing style

A collection of tips garnered from various journals by Dey Alexander

The Science of Scientific Writing: Article by George Gopen, Judith Swan, American Scientist, November-December 1990

How to write consistently boring scientific literature by Kaj Sand-Jensen, Oikos 2007

Peer review process

Peer review: the nuts and bolts: guide for early career researchers by Sense About Science

Peer review: a guide for researchers (Research Information Network 2010)

Taylor&Francis guide to peer review

When your paper is published

Melissa Terras: Is blogging and tweeting about research papers worth it? The verdict  (blog post, 2012)

Christie Wilcox: Social Media for Scientists Part 1 of 5 (Discover Magazine, 2011)

Simon Bishop: Using Twitter as a Postgraduate Researcher (slides, 2013)

LSE Public Policy Group: Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities (pdf guide, 2011)

Dorothy Bishop: A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic (blog post, 2011)

John Launer: The age of Twitter (Postgraduate Medical Journal, 2013)




Choosing a journal

Anna has written several introductory posts on this subject (now getting a bit old):

Choosing a journal I: getting your paper published quickly

Choosing a journal II: getting your paper noticed

Choosing a journal III: practicalities

Choosing a journal IV: peer review procedure

Choosing a journal V: impact factor

You can use the Cofactor Journal Selector tool to select journals that fit a range of criteria such as those below.

Journal impact measures

Anna’s blog post on journal metrics (links to a spreadsheet comparing metrics for 97 journals)

Royal Society explanation of journal metrics and their uses and misuses

Journal Citation Reports (for Impact Factor)


SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)

Google Scholar Metrics

Problems with the impact factor

Short term measure


Skewing by one paper

Misuse of the impact factor


Indexing: for a comprehensive list of the indexing services for journals, see this list from Springer.

Evidence that open access leads to more citations: Preprint by Alma Swan and brief summary of it from


See also Anna’s blog posts on

Scholarly Kitchen post on cascading peer review

See below under ‘How scientific publishing is changing’ for links to various megajournals.

Data publication

Panton Principles


Anna’s blog posts on journals that charge authors (and not for open access publication)journal submission fees and open access publication charges (links to a spreadsheet comparing author processing charges for 209 journals).

How scientific publishing is changing

Open access

Introduction to open access, including definitions of gold and green routes.

Creative Commons licences

SHERPA FACT: check whether a particular journal fulfils the open access requirements of your funder.

Innovative journal publishers




Journal-independent peer review

Peerage of Science


Axios Review

Post-publication peer review services

Faculty of 1000 Prime



Non-selective open access journals (‘megajournals’)

Physical and biological sciences:

PLOS One (Public Library of Science)
Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group)
Springer Plus (Springer)
QScience Connect (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals)The Scientific World Journal (Hindawi)

Biological sciences and medicine:

Frontiers journals
The BMC series (BioMed Central)
ISRN series (Hindawi)


BMJ Open (British Medical Journal Group)
SAGE Open Medicine

Biological sciences:

Biology Open (Company of Biologists)
FEBS Open Bio (Elsevier)
G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics (Genetics Society of America)

Physical sciences:

AIP Advances (American Institute of Physics)
IEEE Access (IEEE Publishing)
Elementa (BioOne)

Social sciences:

Broad scope, selective open access journals


BMJ (British Medical Journal Group)
PLOS Medicine (Public Library of Science)
BMC Medicine (BioMed Central)

Biological Sciences:

Open Biology (Royal Society)
Cell Reports (Elsevier)
mBio (American Society of Microbiology)
eLife (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, the Wellcome Trust)
PLOS Biology (Public Library of Science)
BMC Biology (BioMed Central)

Physical Sciences:

Physical Review X (American Physical Society)